Review: Viva Brazil, City Centre
After hearing about the Viva Brazil’s concept of bringing you meat until you tell them to stop, I was naturally very excited about visiting this nirvana. Located a stone’s throw from Central Station, Viva Brazil is unlike any other restaurant that I have ever been to.
First impressions of the place are great. Upon walking through the door the friendly hostess approached us immediately to assist and, as we were waiting on two other members of the party, we were advised to wait in the foyer and help ourselves to any drinks we would like from the bar. The décor with its red, burnt orange and dark browns creates a really warm and welcoming atmosphere and also makes the place feel very cosy which is surprising considering how big the open plan restaurant is.
Once the rest of the dining party arrived we were seated immediately as we had visited during lunch time and there were only a handful of tables full. I would recommend dining before five o’clock because it allows you to take advantage of the lunch time price of £14.95. If you decide to visit at dinner time the price increases to £24.95, which at first might seem a little steep considering it does not include any drinks, but I can guarantee that after finishing your meal you will have eaten more than your money’s worth.
The concept of the restaurant is like an unconventional buffet in that the Passadors bring an array of meats to each table and you can decide to have as much, or as little, of anything that you want to sample. You can choose from a selection of Flack Steak, Parmesan Pork, Garlic Cap of Rump, Smoked Gammon, Chicken Breast with Smoked Bacon, among others, and the most exotic item on the menu – Chicken Hearts.
At the table we found individual place cards, one side of which is green and the other red, which are used to indicate to the Passador when you need a break from the stream of meats which they are constantly bringing to the table. There is also a list of all the meats which are available and the Passador will mark this to indicate which different dishes you have sampled. Half way through your meal you will probably start to view this as a score sheet as you battle your way through the abundance of meats available.
We started off by trying the Chilli Chicken which was extremely spicy and crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside. We went on to try the Rump Steak which was by far the most impressive of all the meats on offer – perfectly cooked, rare, succulent and truly delicious. I tried everything that was on offer and the only disappointment was the Leg of Lamb which was dry and pretty tasteless. I even tried the Chicken Hearts, which are not for everyone but if you are feeling adventurous I strongly suggest that you try them just for bragging rights. Personally, I did not enjoy the experience one bit as they were very garlicy and chewy, which made eating them all the more horrible as I just wanted to finish it and be done.
It’s not only meat than you can sample for the lunch time price of £14.95. There is also a “Salad Bar” which consists of very little salad and instead features a selection of chips, potatoes, chicken, cheese, fish and cold meats. Take my advice and do not load up on items from here before sampling most of the meat dishes that the restaurant offers as you will regret it big time. Remember guys, it is a marathon not a sprint.
One thing that I was worried about before visiting the Viva Brazil was the constant but necessary interruptions of the Passadors serving the meat, but in hindsight it actually added to the whole experience as the staff were very friendly and made us feel very welcome.
On reflection, the price of £14.95 was extremely reasonable and I think that I would definitely pay a lot more for what was on offer, the whole experience was amazing. As a student myself, I think the price will probably put a lot of other students off as they will probably opt to dine at one of the cheaper restaurants in the area, however a meal at Viva Brazil is an investment as you won’t have to eat anything at all on the day of your visit and also very little the following day, the meal is so filling. If you are a student looking for a great deal for your money I would suggest visiting Viva Brazil as a well-earned treat for all the studying, or watching Netflix, that you have been doing. And if you are not a student well, there should be nothing holding you back!